Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:

  • The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says the UK must agree to “crystal-clear guarantees” to protect the rights of EU citizens and that the European Court of Justice will remain responsible for enforcing those rights. He stated that reassurance about the rights of EU citizens must come first in the negotiations and that there must be equal treatment between all EU and UK nationals in the UK, as well as the inverse. (BBC)
  • Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, has predicted that London’s financial centre will “stall” due to the turmoil of the Brexit process. He warned that there would need to be an implementation period of at least a couple of years after the Brexit deal had been agreed to allow companies to adjust and that the absence of an agreement between London and Brussels for such an implementation period will prompt firms to make a “premature” decision to relocate operations. Although Goldman Sachs has already started to transfer staff out of London, Lloyd Blankfein said he was trying to avoid a large-scale move out of the UK but confirmed that the bank had held discussions with a number of cities across Europe. (Telegraph)
  • In a speech to an audience of European diplomats and experts in Florence, Jean Claude Junker promised to negotiate with the UK in full transparency but warned that “there should be no doubt whatsoever that it is not the EU which is abandoning the UK, they are abandoning the European Union and this is a difference which will be felt over the next few years”. He also chose to deliver his speech in French noting that “slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe”. (Guardian)